January 19, 20232 min read

Regex for words with hyphen

A word is a unit of information that represents one or more letters i.e., from a-z or A-Z. In this article let's understand how we can create a regex for words with hyphen and how regex can be matched for a valid string containing hyphen.

Regex (short for regular expression) is a powerful tool used for searching and manipulating text. It is composed of a sequence of characters that define a search pattern. Regex can be used to find patterns in large amounts of text, validate user input, and manipulate strings. It is widely used in programming languages, text editors, and command line tools.

Structure of words with hyphen

  • It should have atleast 1 word
  • It can optionally have hyphens -
  • No special characters are allowed

Regex for checking if words with hyphen is a valid string

Regular Expression-


Test string examples for the above regex-

Input StringMatch Output
$%^&abcabcabcdoes not match
34-21 = 13does not match

Here is a detailed explanation of the above regex-


1st Capturing Group ([\w-]+)
Match a single character present in the list below [\w-]
+ matches the previous token between one and unlimited times, as many times as possible, giving back as needed (greedy)
\w matches any word character (equivalent to [a-zA-Z0-9_])
- matches the character - with index 4510 (2D16 or 558) literally (case sensitive)
Global pattern flags
g modifier: global. All matches (don't return after first match)
m modifier: multi line. Causes ^ and $ to match the begin/end of each line (not only begin/end of string)

Hope this article was useful to match a valid string containing words with hyphen regex pattern.

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About the Author
Satvik is a passionate developer turned Entrepreneur. He is fascinated by JavaScript, Operating System, Deep Learning, AR/VR. He has published several research papers and applied for patents in the field as well. Satvik is a speaker in conferences, meetups talking about Artificial Intelligence, JavaScript and related subjects. His goal is to solve complex problems that people face with automation. Related projects can be seen at - [Projects](/projects)
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